We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person. Better stick with Chanukah!
Purists decry the commercialization and simplification of holy days.But, few among us have the interest or training to delve into the deeper meanings.Religions have found that stressing a central theme or lesson accomplishes most, and making it enjoyable transmits the core meaning to children they can build upon and enlarge.The central theme of Chanukah and of Christmas is that devotion to our faith takes courage that can overcome even hostile empires.
Other themes of both: that God will provide,no matter how overwhelming the odds, that light will keep shining in darkness and not be overcome, that small and humble is stronger and outlasts the great, that God hovers over His people protecting and cheering them in hopeless situations, that an undeserved gift radiates hope, that an unforgettable miracle changes the world, that a God mighty to save can focus in on a lowly corner of His world to brighten it. But I am redundant...
Retriever, I too was sorry to read on your blog about you and your familys terrible loss. If I may say so, your faith and stamina are inspiring and as jappy says, refreshing. A blog comment does not seem to be the 'proper' or the best venue for condolences but please accept my sympathy at the loss of your beloved brother.
Thanks for your kindness, Patina. I appreciate it. Sometimes one's online friends and sparring partners are like the prisoner in the next cell tapping hello in the Count of Monte Cristo--just the encouragement or jolt out of immobility one needs when isolated by walls of stone.